We’ve made it to the ski resort of Niseko Annupuri, based in Hokkaido, Japan. Very excited to be here and get out on the mountains, even at night time!
Maeve and I travelled here from a break in Vietnam, and decided to ship our skis from the UK via ‘SendMyBag.com’. We were not informed that Japanese customs can be a highly strict on bags arriving without their owners. Through poor communication from ‘Send My Bag’, DHL and Japanese couriers our skis did not arrive in resort until a day after we did. This is what happened when we did receive them…!
Staying in Niseko Annupuri
We are staying in Niseko Annupuri, the smallest of the four Niseko resorts. It’s a quiet town with a cluster of small lodges and one main hotel, ‘The Northern Resort’ with around 300 rooms. There are a handful of restaurants in the town. These range from traditional Japanese to western classics like Pizza (Pizza DelSole) and Indian (Taj Mahal). Most of the restaurants deliver; we also found that some of the restaurants even pick you up and drop you home free of charge!
The ski area is small comparative to European resorts. There are a handful of 2 and 4 man chairs and one main gondola to the top of the hill. Annupuri sits to the west of Niseko Village which connects to Niseko Grand Hirafu and Hanazono on the far East side. From the village to the peak of the mountain is only around 750m vertical, but the tree lined terrain offers hundreds of options for those venturing off the sides of the piste. A day pass is around £35 per person which runs from 08.30-20.30.
For mid December the conditions are fantastic with 2-20cm of snowfall everyday. Although the ski area of Annupuri is small, there are zero queues for the lifts or crowds on the piste. We lapped a number of side pistes and were still making fresh tracks in powder by 11.30am. There are of couple of lunch options if you are keen on raman, fried chicken or hot dogs. The Bears Cafe is the only spot up the Annupuri hill which is reasonably priced and serves everything a hungry/thirsty skier wants! There is a larger canteen option at the base of the slope.
One of the top experiences we have had so far is night skiing. It gets dark around 4pm in December. This is when the flood lights come on lighting up the majority of the ski area from the top of the main chairlift to the bottom of the slopes. A must do if you are skiing in this resort.